4 Tips to Manage Your PCOS Symptoms

Whether you have been recently diagnosed with PCOS, or know someone with the condition, you probably have a lot of questions. Queen Street Bakery’s nutrition team is here to explain what PCOS is and how you can best manage your symptoms through the power of food and lifestyle changes. 

So, What Exactly is PCOS? 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes an imbalance in women’s sex hormones. When hormones are dysregulated, it may lead to: 

  • Irregular or absent periods,
  • Cysts in the ovaries,
  • Oily skin or acne,
  • Increased hair growth on the face and body,
  • Trouble getting pregnant (infertility),
  • Thinning hair or hair loss (from the head), and
  • Weight gain

      While other forms of treatment should be discussed with your doctor, making some small adjustments to your diet can help to manage weight gain and other complications of PCOS.

      Did you know? PCOS affects up to 12% of women, usually diagnosed in their 20s or 30s. 

      While the cause of PCOS is yet to be confirmed, it is suspected that genetics is the main cause. 

      What About Treatment? 

      If left alone, PCOS can lead to more health complications like heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. While there’s not exactly a cure for PCOS, there are many strategies to manage symptoms, like medication, diet, and exercise. Like what exactly? Let’s get into it.  

      Tips to Manage PCOS Symptoms 

      Tip #1: Eat More Fibre 

      You’ve probably been told to eat more fibre, but what is it exactly? Fibre is a type of carb that the body can’t digest, and it’s found in lots of foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans and legumes. Fibre helps regulate your bowel movements and keeps you feeling full for longer. But the best part about fibre is it lowers blood sugar levels and cholesterol, helping to prevent against heart disease and diabetes 

      Did you know? We need 25-38g of fibre per day, and most Canadians are only getting about HALF of that. 

      So how do you get more fibre? Try: 

      • Aiming for half a plate of veggies at most meals
      • Add fruit to your breakfast and snacks
      • Swap your carbs for high fibre choices, like whole grain pasta or high fibre toast.

        At Queen Street Bakery, we want to make this easier for you. That’s why ALL of our products are high in fibre. By swapping your regular toast for 2 slices of our Chia Classic Loaf, you’ll get 12g of fibre – that's about half your daily dose of fibre by the time you finish breakfast.  

        Not to boast, but our products are higher in fibre than other brands because of the bean, seed, and whole grain flours we use in everything we make. 

        Tip #2: Choose Healthy Fats 

        Choose foods with more unsaturated fats like Omega-3s and Omega-6s. These heart healthy fats help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, while also helping stabilize your mood, improve hair growth and skin quality. 

        Omega-3s and Omega-6s can be found in foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and salmon. Since Queen Street Bakery’s breads and bagels are packed with great ingredients like chia seeds and flaxseeds, we’re a good source of Omegas too! In fact – every Queen Street Bakery Superfood Bagel gives you 100% of your daily Omega-3s. 

        Tip #3: Add Protein to Each Meal 

        Protein helps you feel full longer and can help lower blood sugar levels. Canada’s Food Guide recommends adding more plant-based proteins to your diet because they are higher in fibre and lower in saturated fats (unhealthy fats). 

        You can find plant-based protein in foods like: 

        • Beans,
        • Nuts & seeds,
        • Leafy greens, and
        • Tofu

          Thanks to the bean flour, flax and chia seeds we use, Queen Street Bakery breads, buns, and bagels are a good source of protein to start off any plate. To get the full protein experience, try pairing our bread with other protein sources like beans, tofu, chicken, eggs, or fish. 

          Tip #4: Get A Daily Dose of Exercise 

          Exercise can help control blood sugar, manage weight, improve mental health and lead to a healthier lifestyle overall.  

          Canada’s Food Guide recommends 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) of moderate exercise every week. Depending on your current fitness habits, this may seem like a lot, but it’s important to gradually increase your activity to get to this point. Be sure to talk to your doctor about exercising before making any big changes!

          Try starting with 10 minutes of walking daily and then gradually increasing it to 20 minutes when you’re more comfortable. 

          Need some help getting started? 

          Making diet and lifestyle changes can be overwhelming at first, but we’re here to help make it a bit easier. Here’s a list of some delicious meals to make with our very own products that are high in fibre, low in saturated fats (unhealthy fats), and good sources of protein

            *Only in-store 

            Find us online or in a store near you

            Follow us on Instagram and TikTok for more recipes, updates, and fun!

            This article was written by Daniella Nestico, MHSc(c) & reviewed by Alicia Lang, RD, MHSc.